RUSA RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee (Reference Services Section) Committee

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Attending Annual?  If so, please join the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee for:

Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!

Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 p.m., LVCC-N117

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee Roster for 2013-14


Crystal Lentz, chair, through June 30, 2014, rotating off

Camille Chesley, member, through June 30, 2014, eligible for reappointment

Jenifer O. Flaxbart, member, through June 30, 2014, eligible for reappointment

Rebecca Jackson, member, through June 30, 2014, rotating off

Jessica Moyer, member, through June 30, 2014, eligible for reappointment

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored 2 exciting forums at Annual:

The committee goals are to solicit proposals for discussion forums at ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual, evaluate them, and select the two best for each.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Annual 2013.  The committee's meeting for the annual conference was conducted via email in May when the winning forum proposals for the conference were chosen.

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Discussion Discussion Forums in Las Vegas

by Crystal Lentz on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 06:37 pm

Attending Annual?  If so, please join the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee for:

Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!

Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 p.m., LVCC-N117

Attending Annual?  If so, please join the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee for:

Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!

Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 p.m., LVCC-N117

What can truly set reference apart from Google and other online information providers?  What can breed patron loyalty and ensure return visits?  Service!  A library’s customer service can have a staggering impact on customer satisfaction and retention.  Join with colleagues to share real world examples of extreme customer service – wonderful as well as woeful – and to learn practical tips for improving your service and making your reference service invaluable.  Facilitator: Jeanne Holba Puacz, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Readying Reference: Training for Public Service Reference Providers

Monday, June 30, 8:30–10:00 a.m., LVCC-N120

The importance of interactions with users of a library’s reference services (online and in person) cannot be overstated.  If the user has a good experience, she will be back when she has another question.  A bad experience, and that’s the end of it.  Library literature supports the idea that training of reference providers and setting standards of service is a crucial component in the process of bringing new staffers up to speed and making sure they are upholding the library’s service mission.  Gather with other front-line reference providers and managers to discuss what reference training currently looks like and brainstorm new ideas for innovative training in the future.  Facilitators: Geoff Johnson, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin and Joe Dobbs, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.

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Discussion Summary of Current Activities

by Crystal Lentz on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 03:28 pm

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored 2 exciting forums at Annual:

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored 2 exciting forums at Annual:

Keeping it Real in a Virtual World: Managing and Promoting Your Online Reference Collection, was facilitated by Sara Memmott from Eastern Michigan University, and April Levy from Columbia College Chicago. The 11 attendees were from a variety of types of libraries, including academic, community college and public libraries, plus there was one non-librarian in attendance. Discussions took place in small groups, with ideas reported back to the entire group. Suggestions included: correlating recommended reference sources with events in the news, for more information, via Twitter and Facebook; featuring a “highlighted” reference resource or tool on the library’s home page; QR codes in the stacks to connect users with online resources that relate to those in print (or those recently removed and sent to storage); building on the QR codes idea, having librarians assisting users model the behavior we want to encourage by taking a smart phone or iPad/similar device to the stacks and using it to connect to and demonstrate an online resource; and using info graphics to share/summarize information for users (resources available, cost of subscriptions, etc.).

Technology Competencies for Reference Librarians, facilitated by Tina Chan from the State University of New York at Oswego, had a total of 21 attendees from academic, public, school, and other libraries.  The very lively discussion touched on topics including what to look for in interviewees, how changing technology affects staff, what should go into a staff manual, and whether resistance to change is age-related.

We did not meet at ALA Annual 2013 because a meeting was held via email in May when the winning discussion forum proposals were chosen.  The committee looks forward to putting out the call for discussion forum proposals for Midwinter soon and selecting the two that will be held. 

 

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Discussion Minutes from 2013 Annual

by Crystal Lentz on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 04:21 pm

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Annual 2013.  The committee's meeting for the annual conference was conducted via email in May when the winning forum proposals for the conference were chosen.

Discussion Tips for Discussion Forums

by Emilie Smart on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 06:19 pm

Leading a discussion sounds easy but it can be a tough job.  Much like a DJ in a disco, you, as facilitator, must “get the party started” and keep the dancers on the floor.  You also have to keep pandemonium tamped down.  Fun!!

Here are some tips to help you get things going and keep the ideas flowing.

Format is important.

Leading a discussion sounds easy but it can be a tough job.  Much like a DJ in a disco, you, as facilitator, must “get the party started” and keep the dancers on the floor.  You also have to keep pandemonium tamped down.  Fun!!

Here are some tips to help you get things going and keep the ideas flowing.

Format is important.

As you think about your topic, think too about how best that topic should be approached.  Is your topic one that lends itself to “free-for-all” discussion?  Does your topic have several facets that could be discussed separately?  It’s good to consider just how you will present the issues and how best they can be dealt with.  If you’ve never done this before, you may need a little help so here is a description of two popular formats.  Feel free to improvise if these ideas don’t seem to fit your topic.

Free-for-All Discussion – kind of like fishing

In a free-for-all, the facilitator throws out a question about the topic and waits for a participant to bite.  If no one bites, the facilitator must try a new question.  If someone does bite, the facilitator must make sure the dialog takes hold of the group.  Once the dialog is going well, the facilitator can sit back and enjoy.

This format works well with “hot” topics when you can be fairly sure that most of the participants will have an opinion and will be more than happy to express them.  The facilitator is responsible for having a good list of questions from which to draw and must be willing to wade in to direct traffic, change topics, or to ask further questions to keep the discussion moving. 

Tables set in a rectangle work well for this format since it allows everyone to see everyone else.

Round Table/Table Talks – the musical chairs of discussion forums

Round Table/Table Talks are great if a topic has several facets to cover.   Separate tables devoted to individual facets are set up and participants choose a table to start with.  Once all are seated, the discussion begins at each table for a set amount of time.  At the end of the time period, a whistle/bell/buzzer sounds and everyone rotates to the next table.  Discussion begins anew and the pattern continues until all topics are visited.

This format requires a facilitator for each table.  The facilitators should have pertinent questions at hand to get the discussion going and need to be able to keep things moving quickly as time will run out and participants will move on.

Your Job as Facilitator

Being the facilitator isn’t just about making arrangements – it’s more about making the discussion work.  Here’s a list of things the facilitator must have or be able and/or willing to do (in no particular order…).

  • Welcome everyone and make brief introductory remarks.
  • Have a long list of potential questions to ask when the discussion lags.
  • Make sure all participants sign in and provide their contact info (email is fine).
  • Be willing to politely interrupt someone if things are going on and on and on…
  • Listen to what’s being said.  Use participants’ comments as a springboard to keep things moving.
  • Don’t be afraid to completely change the direction of things.
  • Provide a handout that outlines a few points for discussion.
  • Make sure you have an evaluation form to hand out.
  • Recruit helper/co-facilitator/friend to be a shill.  VERY IMPORTANT!
  • Avoid the use of technology.  This is about talking.
  • Stop everything before time runs out and effusively thank everyone for coming.
  • Hand out your evaluation forms.
  • Provide your contact information (and contact information of any co-facilitators).
  • Enjoy yourself.  Discussion forums are fun!!

 

 

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Discussion Call for Proposals - Annual 2012

by Emilie Smart on Wed, May 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Interested in Issues Related to Reference?  Submit your Proposal to lead a discussion today!

Interested in Issues Related to Reference?  Submit your Proposal to lead a discussion today!

Lead a discussion, see your name in print and find your way to stardom!  Submit a discussion forum proposal to the RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee.  Details are below.
Description:   The RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee is soliciting topic proposals for discussion at ALA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA, June 22-26.  The purpose of the discussion forum is to provide a venue for reference practitioners to discuss reference related topics of current importance and to exchange ideas.   You know you love to talk about reference.  Here’s your chance to network with other reference fanatics! (deadline for submission is May 15, 2012)

What to Include in Your Proposal:

The following elements need to be addressed in your proposal:
•    A clear, concise description of the discussion topic's issues
•    Importance of the topic to reference librarians
•    At least three topic-related sample discussion questions that may be used to facilitate group discussion
•    Strategies and structure that will facilitate a lively discussion (In other words, describe your discussion forum format)

Scope of Discussion Topics:  Proposed topics should have broad appeal.  Try not to limit your proposal to a specific type of library.   Topical categories can include, but are not limited to:
•    Frontline reference issues
•    Reference methods
•    Reference and information technologies
•    Assessment of reference
•    Management of reference
•    Research in reference

Your topic should be focused enough to be covered reasonably well within the allotted time (90 minutes).

Expectations for Discussion Forum Facilitators:

If your proposal is selected, you, or your designee, will serve as the discussion facilitator, leading the discussion and keeping things on track.  As the discussion facilitator, you must:
•    Be up-to-date and familiar with your discussion topic.
•    Choose a discussion format that allows for maximum discussion.  See our Tips for Discussion Forums (http://connect.ala.org/node/152608) for examples of possible formats.
•    Create a handout that provides a brief summary of the issue along with a few key references. (optional)
•    Maintain communication with the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee throughout the planning, program, and follow-up processes.

Process:  The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee will select 2 proposals for the 2012 Midwinter Conference.  Proposal topics will be evaluated on: impact, timeliness, relevancy, practicality (that the topic lends itself to a discussion), innovation, evidence of applicant's knowledge, and clear focus. Proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2012 for ALA Annual in Anaheim, CA.  Proposal writers will be notified within 2 weeks as to whether or not their proposal was accepted. Facilitators are responsible for their own conference registration and travel expenses.

Who May Submit Proposals:  Proposals are welcome from any ALA member.

How to Submit:  Please read Tips for Discussion Forums (http://connect.ala.org/node/152608) before submitting your proposal. 

Complete the proposal form located here: http://bit.ly/K49wbn

Deadline for submission is May 15, 2012.

Contact Emilie Smart (esmart@ebrpl.com) with questions. 

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Discussion Goals Update April 2012

by Emilie Smart on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 02:51 pm

The Committee has finalized our call for proposals for Annual Conference in June and will be sending it out ASAP.  We plan to have 2 forums at Annual.

Event Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 07:37 pm

What can truly set reference apart from Google and other online information providers? What can breed patron loyalty and ensure return visits? Service! A library’s customer service can have a staggering impact on customer satisfaction and retention. Join with colleagues to share real world examples of extreme customer service – wonderful as well as woeful – and to learn practical tips for improving your service and making your reference service invaluable.

More information about this conference session

Event Training for Public Service Reference Providers

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 07:37 pm

The importance of interactions with users of a library’s reference services (online and in person) cannot be overstated. If the user has a good experience, she will be back when she has another question. A bad experience, and that’s the end of it. Library literature supports the idea that training of reference providers and setting standards of service is a crucial component in the process of bringing new staffers up to speed and making sure they are upholding the library’s service mission.

The importance of interactions with users of a library’s reference services (online and in person) cannot be overstated. If the user has a good experience, she will be back when she has another question. A bad experience, and that’s the end of it. Library literature supports the idea that training of reference providers and setting standards of service is a crucial component in the process of bringing new staffers up to speed and making sure they are upholding the library’s service mission. Gather with other front-line reference providers and managers to discuss what reference training currently looks like and brainstorm new ideas for innovative training in the future.

More information about this conference session

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Discussion Call for Proposals for Midwinter 2014!

by Crystal Lentz on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 06:38 pm

Lead a discussion, see your name in print and find your way to stardom!  Submit a discussion forum proposal to the RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee.  Details are below.

Lead a discussion, see your name in print and find your way to stardom!  Submit a discussion forum proposal to the RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee.  Details are below.

Description:   The RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee is soliciting topic proposals for discussion at ALA’s 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, January 24-28, 2014.  The purpose of the discussion forum is to provide a venue for reference practitioners to discuss reference related topics of current importance and to exchange ideas.   You know you love to talk about reference.  Here’s your chance to network with other reference fanatics!

What to Include in Your Proposal:

The following elements need to be addressed in your proposal:

  • A clear, concise description of the discussion topic's issues
  • Importance of the topic to reference librarians
  • At least three topic-related sample discussion questions that may be used to facilitate group discussion
  • Strategies and structure that will facilitate a lively discussion (In other words, describe your discussion forum format).  Note that the session is meant to be a discussion, not a presentation.  As such, no A/V equipment will be provided.  The requested room setup is Hollow Square, but could be anything, so flexibility is important.

Scope of Discussion Topics:  Proposed topics should have broad appeal.  Try not to limit your proposal to a specific type of library.   Topical categories can include, but are not limited to:

  • Frontline reference issues
  • Reference methods
  • Reference and information technologies
  • Assessment of reference
  • Management of reference
  • Research in reference

Your topic should be focused enough to be covered reasonably well within the allotted time (90 minutes).

Expectations for Discussion Forum Facilitators:

If your proposal is selected, you, or your designee, will serve as the discussion facilitator, leading the discussion and keeping things on track.  As the discussion facilitator, you must:

  • Be up-to-date and familiar with your discussion topic.
  • Choose a discussion format that allows for maximum discussion.  See our Tips for Discussion Forums (http://connect.ala.org/node/152608) for examples of possible formats.
  • Create a handout that provides a brief summary of the issue along with a few key references. (optional)
  • Maintain communication with the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee throughout the planning, program, and follow-up processes.

Process:  The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee will select 2 proposals for the 2013 Annual Conference.  Proposal topics will be evaluated on: impact, timeliness, relevancy, practicality (that the topic lends itself to a discussion), innovation, evidence of applicant's knowledge, and clear focus. Proposals must be submitted by September 13, 2013 for ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, PA.  Proposal writers will be notified within 2 weeks as to whether or not their proposal was accepted. Facilitators are responsible for their own conference registration and travel expenses.

Who May Submit Proposals:  Proposals are welcome from any ALA member.

How to Submit:  Please read Tips for Discussion Forums (http://connect.ala.org/node/152608) before submitting your proposal.  Complete the proposal form located here:  http://discussforum.wufoo.com/forms/rusarss-discussion-forums-proposal-submittal-form/  

Deadline for submission is September 13, 2013.

Contact Crystal Lentz (crystal.lentz@sos.wa.gov) with questions. 

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Discussion Discussion Forums in Philadelphia

by Crystal Lentz on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 06:37 pm

Attending Midwinter?  If so, please join the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee for:

SKYPE? Face Time? Why Has Face-to-Face Not Been the New Wave in Digital Reference? 

Saturday, January 25th, 1:00 - 2:30 in PCC (Pennsylvania Convention Center) 116

Attending Midwinter?  If so, please join the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee for:

SKYPE? Face Time? Why Has Face-to-Face Not Been the New Wave in Digital Reference? 

Saturday, January 25th, 1:00 - 2:30 in PCC (Pennsylvania Convention Center) 116

Face-to-face communication utilizing mobile devices has become increasingly popular thanks to front-facing cell phone cameras and other technologies, yet literature written about offering video reference services concludes that such services are not heavily utilized.  Join with colleagues to share your own experiences with video chat reference, ideas for marketing the services, and whether or not you believe what the literature concludes is true.  Facilitator: Benjamin Andrus, Binghamton University 

Patron-Centered Reference Librarianship: Using Patrons' Interests to Motivate Information Literacy Learning 

Sunday, January 26th, 8:30 - 10:00 in PCC (Pennsylvania Convention Center) 115C

Although it is widely acknowledged that library education should be patron-centered, serious discussions of patron-centered reference librarianship are virtually non-existent.  Now is your chance to be part of just such a discussion.  Gather with colleagues to share best practices and strategies for engaging users in patron-centered learning at the reference desk.  What does patron-centered learning mean to you?  What strategies do you use to connect with users at the reference desk?  How can we motivate authentic learning within the context of reference? Learn from others and share your own strategies for connecting with users as unique individuals, not just information problems to be solved. Facilitator: Kevin Michael Klipfel, California State University, Chico 

 

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